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10 Ways to Beat Prediabetes

10 Ways to Beat Prediabetes

According to diabetes.org, approximately 86 million American adults have prediabetes, and another 29.1 million have developed Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. There is a long list of health complications associated with being diabetic, so it is imperative for those in a prediabetic state to take immediate action to prevent the onset of this disease. Fortunately, you can get your health under control by implementing a few new practices into your daily routine.

1. Remove soda and sports drinks from your diet.

One of the biggest issues that people with diabetes face is difficulty keeping their blood sugar in line. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is just as important to remove all unnecessary sugar from your diet. Caffeine can also cause problems, so your best bet is to stop drinking all regular sodas, sports drinks, sweet tea and anything else that contains caffeine. When temptation to grab a soda strikes, be sure to remind yourself that the average 12-ounce can is filled with the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.

2. Start a regular exercise program.

Exercise and diet are two of the most important things for you to embrace if you want to avoid developing diabetes. Experts recommend working out for at least 30 minutes per day, and this may require some professional input or instruction to help ensure you stay safe and don’t get bored. For example, Les Mills fitness programs offer a wide variety of options, ranging from dancing to a full-body weights workout. Utilizing a program that allows you to learn many different things will make exercising more mentally and physically engaging, and it will also give you a better overall workout.

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3. Make the switch to low-fat dairy products.

The good news is that you do not need to completely give up dairy unless you’re lactose intolerant. However, your body will thank you for it if you begin substituting low-fat or no-fat dairy products. The American Diabetes Association advocates that this is one of the best ways to keep your intake of sugar and carbs low while still getting the necessary protein and calcium. You can get used to the lower fat products by gradually stepping down from whole fat to 2 percent, followed by 1 percent and, finally, no-fat.

4. Keep a diary of your food consumption and emotions.

A food diary is important for prediabetics and people with diabetes, and it can also be useful for everyone else. In a nutshell, you should write down what you eat, along with the time, and monitor yourself for any mood changes. Carefully capturing all of this information can help clue you in to which food items are causing you the most issues. Additionally, tracking your food will help you get a better idea of how healthy, or unhealthy, your daily diet actually is. From there, you can make the necessary changes to improve your health.

5. Replace bad carbs with whole grain food.

Whole grains have been found to help people avoid diabetes, and they can even prevent someone from reaching the prediabetic stage. In fact, studies have found that ingesting at least 59 grams of whole grains daily will reduce your odds of becoming prediabetic by 27 percent. Researchers also discovered that people who consume 30 grams or less of whole grains are at the highest risk of becoming diabetic. In other words, check your pasta, bread, cereal, and other grains to ensure that you are getting enough whole grains.

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6. Avoid juice and eat fruit instead.

Fruit juice might seem like a good idea, but the reality is that most of these drinks are packed with sugar. A comparison of soda and juice found that many popular juice items, including Minute Maid 100 percent Apple Juice, are just as bad, or even worse, than popular sodas such as Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Meanwhile, fruit has fiber and other nutrients that help your body better absorb their natural sugar content.

7. Increase your water consumption.

One of the issues that can plague people with prediabetes is feeling hungry even after they have eaten. Because of this, experts recommend increasing your daily water intake. It is best to drink a full glass of water after each meal, and you can also help ward off hunger by drinking another full glass with your food and in-between your typical meal times.

8. Commit to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Sleep deprivation is one of the many risk factors that can lead to prediabetes, so getting more than six hours of sleep every night is a must. However, if you are already prediabetic, you will want to commit yourself to a regular schedule that allows you to get eight hours of sleep every night. Doing this will help your body deal with the prediabetic stress, and it is one of many steps you can take to stop your downward spiral toward Type 2 diabetes.

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9. Remove junk food from your home.

Humans are creatures of habit, which means that if you keep junk food in your home, you are most likely going to eat it during moments of stress. If you must keep some unhealthy snacks in your house, be sure to put them out of sight so that you will be less likely to think of them when you are feeling hungry. Ideally, though, you will remove all of the candy and other junk food and replace it with easily accessible healthy snacks, including fruit and vegetables.

10. Reach for food that is high in fiber.

Food that is rich in fiber will typically have a lower glycemic index (GI), and this is an important component in reducing your blood sugar levels. Keep in mind that naturally occurring food sources are best because highly processed food tends to have a higher GI, regardless of the fiber content. In other words, it is best to choose high fiber food such as whole grain pasta, lentils and broccoli.

Another important thing you can do to help yourself is to become educated about the common diabetes misconceptions. Combining knowledge with lifestyle changes is truly the best way to stop prediabetes in its tracks.

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Featured photo credit: Image by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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